Lora Harris

Lora Harris
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory


Dr. Harris is an estuarine ecologist who applies field and modeling approaches to address important questions regarding nutrient dynamics, primary production and ecosystem structure and function in a range of estuarine ecosystems. She is especially interested in how climate and management actions interact to affect water quality characteristics in estuaries and lagoons. Some of her most recent work involves collaboration with engineers to understand the restoration trajectories of hypoxic estuaries, and the contribution of wastewater to estuarine receiving waters. Dr. Harris works closely with state and regional agencies in both a research and advisory capacity.  She is committed to efforts that increase diversity in the geosciences as a founding principal investigator of Centro Tortuga, an institutional collaboration based in Puerto Rico that is focused on exposing first year undergraduates to the marine sciences. Dr. Harris is committed to community engagement in her work, and takes just as much satisfaction in talking about water quality to a Board of County Commissioners as she does in giving a talk at a scientific conference. She received her B.S. from Smith College and her Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island.  Dr. Harris moved to her faculty position in Maryland following a postdoctoral position at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.

Areas of Expertise

  • Systems ecology
  • Theoretical ecology
  • Ecosystem modeling
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Metabolic Rates
  • Primary producers from phytoplankton to macrophytes
  • Diversity and inclusion in geosciences


  • Ph.D. University of Rhode Island
  • B.A. Smith College

Regularly Offered Courses